usaf.marathon@us.af.mil (800) 467-1823
Why Bother To Run A Race?

Can you believe that the end of the year is nearly here? It seems as though just yesterday we were ringing in 2017. Time really flies, especially as you tick away the days with your training runs. So, as you approach the year 2018 and begin to decide which races you want to run and why, let us share a few thoughts in regard to why run a race at all?

The argument has been made (mostly by non-runners) that a person can go run 13.1 or 26.2 miles all on their own and accomplish their own half-marathon or full- marathon, so why pay the money to do what can be done in one’s own town? Or, why not get on board with a virtual race, where you pay a much smaller fee but still, in the end, get a medal? Here are 10 reasons why running a race is worth every penny.

  1. You get to experience a new location, a new city, be it big or small. With that comes new sights, new foods and new memories.
  2. You get to challenge yourself with a new course, streets you’ve never run, perhaps a different altitude or terrain. In a race location, not your own town, you get to challenge your ability in a new way.
  3. You can cross another state off your bucket list of 50 state runs…. Perhaps not everyone goes for this goal, but we know many do.
  4. You will get to experience the expo! After all, race excitement generates in the location where you pick up your bib and shirt. There are vendors and other races there to explore as well.
  5. You meet new people. Every race is filled with (typically) hundreds to thousands of people. You might not become best buds with someone at every race, but you are bound to have the opportunity to meet new runners. And when you meet new people, it broadens your experiences, perspectives and maybe even boosts your run a little bit.
  6. You get a shirt and those shirts become stories. Whether you turn your shirt into a new piece of training gear, a gift to your child from your trip away or a quilt display…. That shirt will tell a story and that story will have more depth to it, more grit, when you have been to the actual race and crossed their finish line.
  7. You gain new ideas. Expos have guest speakers, races put together their runs and courses differently, events have different people and you meet new people. Within all of these moments, there are hundreds of opportunities to learn and grow and take home a new idea, thought, inspiration or lesson… sometimes we just have to be willing to look and listen for them.
  8. You get crowds cheering for you! Yes, you could run on your street at any time, any day, but in a race, you have people with signs, water stops, cheerleaders and crowds ready to help you keep going with their encouragement.
  9. You of course get a medal when you finish. You don’t have to wait in the mail for one to come (virtual races) or not get one at all. You will have some instant gratification for your accomplishment, your months of training and your dedication.
  10. We saved the best for last…. You Get To Cross A Finish Line! People will be waiting, medals are ready, announcers are calling out names and times, music is playing- it’s an experience and a celebration! A celebration with people all around who also understand what you just accomplished. There is no comparison for the finish of a race than one of the excitement and emotion on the finish line.

So, as you ponder the end of your year and look into the 2018 calendar quickly approaching, if you are asked “Why Bother Running A Race??” Now you can have a few educated answers for those people who may not really understand it. What will you choose to run in 2018?